Special Report: Focus on the Boeing 737-10

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May 15, 2017: © Leeham Co.: It’s coming down to crunch time for Boeing to launch the 737-10 MAX.

There was the “soft launch” of the airplane at the March 2017 ISTAT conference in San Diego.

The Paris Air Show is around the corner. It’s next month, and Boeing officials want to launch the program there.

In a Special Report, Leeham Co. LLC is re-launching the magazine that was the foundation of the creation of Leeham Co. and Leeham News and Comment. The magazine, Commercial Aviation Report, or CAR for short, takes an in-depth look at the 737-10, its genesis and its competitive position against the Airbus A321neo.

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Pontifications: Emirates profits drop 83%, MC-21 and more news last week

By Scott Hamilton

May 15, 2017, © Leeham Co.: It was a busy news week last week.

  • Emirates Airline headlined its 29th consecutive year of profits, but downplayed an 83% decline.
  • The Irkut MC-21 moved to the tarmac, an indication first flight may be coming shortly.
  • Multiple media reports indicate that electronics flight ban from the Middle East may be extended in part to all of Europe.
  • Boeing suspended test flights on the 737 MAX after CFM discovered some quality issues in some LEAP 1B engines.

Let’s look at these events.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Keeping airliners operational. Part 4

By Bjorn Fehrm

May 12, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: Last week we explained how maintenance philosophies were developed for airliners, from Maintenance Steering Group one (MSG-1), through to Maintenance Steering Group 3 (MSG-3), today’s standard.

The way in which today’s complex systems shall be analyzed should be top down instead of bottom up. And safety concerns should be separated from economical considerations.

Figure 1. The first modern maintenance program was formed around the Boeing 747. Source: Wikipedia.

Now we will go through what this means in practice. We will develop a maintenance plan for a new aircraft, according to the latest standards.

But first, the structure of the work we have in front of us.

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ISTAT Asia 2017: The fight for the lead

By Bjorn Fehrm

May 11, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: Airbus and Boeing had their customary presentation match at the second day of the ISTAT (International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading) conference in Hong Kong. Each OEM stuck to a theme throughout their presentations.

Boeing’s was “market leader.” As the one that delivered the most aircraft during 2016, Boeing had the right to the claim. Airbus countered with “value protection leader.” The neo success saves airlines from having to change aircraft families. Read more

Hong Kong, the future aircraft leasing gateway to China

By Bjorn Fehrm

May 11, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: We are attending the ISTAT (the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading) conference in Hong Kong this week. The conference was opened by the Chief Executive for the Hong Kong region of China, Mr. C. Y. Leung. He gave an interesting perspective of the future of Hong Kong in the aviation finance market.

Hong Kong is the number four finance center in the world. But the present tax rules prohibits aircraft leasing companies to establish Hong Kong as their hub for China and Asia.

The companies cannot deduct the costs of the aircraft ownership from their lease revenue, for non-Hong Kong operators. This will now change. Read more

Regional aircraft for US Scope clause operations. Part 2.

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

May 11, 2017, © Leeham Co.: In the first article about the US regional aircraft market, we described the special rules that apply for outsourced regional airlines, operating for a mainline carrier. The mainline pilots limit the outsourcing via Scope clauses in their Union agreements to aircraft with 76 seats and 86,000lb Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW).

We identified potential aircraft that fit these restrictions in the first article. Now we examine their load carrying capability.

The MTOW limit sets a hard limit on how large aircraft can be used to house 76 seats. The mainline carriers want the regionals to mimic their domestic cabin classes in their aircraft. There shall be no disruption for a First class or Premium economy passenger whether on a mainline flight or on a feed flight to/from the hub.

The challenge is to accommodate the seating standard in the aircraft that come in question.

Summary:
  • Mainline airlines want to replicate their three class cabins for all sectors of a network.
  • This means the regional aircraft cabins shall offer First class, Premium economy and Economy sections.
  • Only the larger aircraft we study can offer a three class cabin with 76 seats.
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How Airbus can kill the Boeing 797

Artisit concept of the Boeing 797. Rendering via Google images.

May 10, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Airbus can kill the business case for the prospective Boeing 797, the New Midrange Aircraft also known as the Middle of the Market Airplane,

All it has to do is move first, instead of waiting for Boeing to launch the 797, something considered likely next year.

If Airbus launched what is commonly called the A322, a larger, longer-range version of the A321neo, the new version would become a true replacement for the Boeing 757, meet economics of the smaller 797, which has a working title of the 797-6, at a much lower capital cost.

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WestJet’s 787, international strategy fraught with risks

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Introduction

Boeing 787-9. WestJet ordered 10 and placed an option for 10 more. Deliveries begin in 2019. Boeing photo.

May 8, 2017, © Leeham Co.: WestJet, Canada’s #2 airline behind Air Canada, is making dramatic departures from its low-cost, low-fare strategy since the company began operations in February 1996.

The company earlier announced it will form an Ultra Low-Cost Carrier (ULCC). Last week came an order for 10 Boeing 787-9s and options for 10 more. Deliveries begin in 2019.

Summary
  • WestJet is taking on Air Canada and its LCC unit, Rouge, in LCC and long-haul LCC markets.
  • “Too much going on to get comfortable,” writes analyst.
  • Capital costs will go up significantly.

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Pontifications: Bombardier’s challenges beyond Boeing complaint

By Scott Hamilton

May 8, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The fallout and speculation continues after Boeing filed a complaint April 27 over Bombardier’s deal for 75+50 CSeries with Delta Air Lines.

The complaint was filed with the US government and the International Trade Commission.

Our stories are here, here and here.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Keeping airliners operational. Part 3

By Bjorn Fehrm

May 5, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: We will now continue the series on keeping airliners operationally fit with how modern methods for maintenance programs were developed.

In the first article, we described hard-time maintenance limits and how these did not really produce a reliable and safe aircraft. They cost a lot, however. We also described how a first step to a modern maintenance philosophy was developed around the Boeing 747.

Figure 1. The first modern maintenance program was formed around the Boeing 747. Source: Wikipedia.

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